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What, No Ben Bradlee?
October 30, 2012 10:39 AM   Subscribe

Nixon's Enemies - Master List "This memorandum addresses the matter of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our Administration, Stated a bit more bluntly --how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies. "

This is the original list submitted with comments to [John] Dean by the office of Charles W. Colson.

There is no Ben Bradlee, Carl Bernstein or Bob Woodward, although the WaPo is on there and so is Katherine Graham individually.
posted by marienbad (60 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
And Carol Channing. Wait, what? *goes to Google*
posted by Eyebeams at 10:41 AM on October 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


If I were in politics at that time, my list would have been much simpler: But the really sad thing is that Nixon wouldn't be right wing enough for today's GOP.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:42 AM on October 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


That's a really long list.
posted by Windopaene at 10:44 AM on October 30, 2012


But the really sad thing is that Nixon wouldn't be right wing enough for today's GOP.

Or Democratic Party.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:45 AM on October 30, 2012 [22 favorites]


It is a badge of honor to be on this list.
posted by incandissonance at 10:45 AM on October 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Guy did not fuck around. George Wallace and Huey Newton both made the list.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:47 AM on October 30, 2012


What a piece of work is a man
posted by growabrain at 10:48 AM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Joe Namath?
posted by Longtime Listener at 10:49 AM on October 30, 2012


Mister Nixon if you want a piece of Bill Cosby you're going to have to go through me and Fat Albert.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:50 AM on October 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


It is a badge of honor to be on this list.

"In The Great Shark Hunt, Hunter S. Thompson expresses disappointment in not having been included on the list, writing 'I would almost have preferred a vindictive tax audit to that kind of crippling exclusion.'"
posted by Egg Shen at 10:51 AM on October 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


Also interesting that McNamara is included.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:52 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why Hans Morgenthau, the champion of political realism?
posted by Yakuman at 10:56 AM on October 30, 2012


Steve McQueen?
posted by steambadger at 10:57 AM on October 30, 2012


I wondered about some of the names on the list that have been called out on here, Joe Namath for example. And yeah, no HST is hilarious, Nixon shure took his eye off the ball there huh?
posted by marienbad at 11:02 AM on October 30, 2012


Tony Randall? Really?

Unless it was because of Hello Down There, then I totally get it.
posted by mazola at 11:03 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Joe Namath?

That was for the centerfold.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:04 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Joe Namath?

"Look at them sideburns! He looks like a girl! Now, Johnny Unitas. There’s a haircut you could set your watch to."
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:08 AM on October 30, 2012 [15 favorites]


I wonder how many others in the GOP have such a list. I'd be somehow disappointed if Cheney didn't.

I wonder if Romney has one.
posted by JHarris at 11:08 AM on October 30, 2012


I assume all the actors and entertainers are because of "liberal hollywood".

I'm sure plenty in all political offices have lists, mental if not physical. The problem is not the list. The problem is the "use the available federal machinery to screw".
posted by DU at 11:09 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder how many others in the GOP have such a list.

Yes, because only the GOP would ever stoop so low as to use the tools of Government Regulation VS people or things they don't like.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:10 AM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's a really long list.

These are domestic enemies (John Lennon was living in New York). Outside the U.S.A, Nixon's list would become enormous, starting with Canada's most revered Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:11 AM on October 30, 2012


I can't figure out why Joe Namath was on the list. I don't think he was particularly political in his public life. He also voted for Nixon (I think). Perhaps Nixon just hated the Jets.

I'm sure that when Paul Newman discovered he was on the list, he poured himself a scotch, lit up a cigar, and sat back in his chair, grinning like a Cheshire cat.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 11:13 AM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Newsman Daniel Schorr and Paul Newman stated, separately, that inclusion on the list was their greatest accomplishment. When this list was released, Schorr read it live on television, not realizing that he was on the list until he came to his own name.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:13 AM on October 30, 2012 [12 favorites]


rough ashlar, that is not what Nixon's enemies list was. It was a vindictive way of getting back at specific people, to hurt them however they could, using the instruments of power, for the purpose of making others fear crossing them. It was the use of the machinery of the U.S. government for personal purposes, a textbook example of corruption.

It was not just "using the tools of Government Regulation VS people or things [you] don't like," BTW your dog whistle deafened an innocent golden retriever outside. Why does one not like something? Is it because it's hurting innocent people, the country, or our world, or because it worked against you personally?

Phooey to you.
posted by JHarris at 11:18 AM on October 30, 2012 [10 favorites]


Richard Nixon didn't like Hello Down There?
A combo of scuba dupes rock up a storm in a mad pad under the surf!
With Richard Dreyfus! And special guest star Merv Griffin, who I hope plays the Elevator Killer!

I'm renting this right away -- fuck you, Nixon!
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:24 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder how many others in the GOP have such a list. I'd be somehow disappointed if Cheney didn't.

Somehow when I first read that I thought you were referring to Chevy Chase and now I'm pretty well convinced he does anyway.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:26 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wonder how many others in the GOP have such a list. I'd be somehow disappointed if Cheney didn't.

I'm guessing Cheney's list was just a photo of the Earth.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:26 AM on October 30, 2012 [12 favorites]


Is it because it's hurting innocent people, the country, or our world, or because it worked against you personally?

it is easy to convince yourself it is the former when it is mainly the latter, cf. "you won't have Nixon to kick around any more"
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:26 AM on October 30, 2012


Compared to Nixon, Jimmy Carter's enemies list looks pretty puny:
1. Cashews
2. Bunny Rabbits
3. Satan
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:27 AM on October 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


potsmokinghippieoverlord: When this list was released, Schorr read it live on television, not realizing that he was on the list until he came to his own name.

That might be the best thing that ever happens in the history of journalism, past and future.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:28 AM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's like the Vatican's list of banned books; it's an immense boost to your p.r. to be on it.
posted by Renoroc at 11:32 AM on October 30, 2012


Interesting how 58.66 percent of the list is Jewish.
posted by Yakuman at 11:41 AM on October 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Steve McQueen?

McQueen was a Republican - maybe it was something personal, or, as has been suggested, he ended up on the list due to association/confusion with Paul Newman. A few pages suggested it was due to appearing in An Enemy of the People, but that didn't come out until 1978.

It sounds like people were surprised then as well as now.
An incredulous Ali MacGraw asked McQueen how he could have been considered a threat by Nixon, adding, "You are the most patriotic person I know!" McQueen responded to the whole affair by flying an enormous American flag outside his house.
posted by zamboni at 11:44 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whos the .66?

/Thanks Groucho.
posted by marienbad at 11:45 AM on October 30, 2012


What's remarkable about the list is its inclusion of people with pretty firm Republican and/or Establishment sympathies: Scotty Reston fancied himself Kissenger's pal, for Christ's sakes. Roland Evans? Morton Kondracke? (The only Fox News employee to make a Republican President's enemies list, I'm betting.) None of those guys were exactly eager to give Nixon a black eye. It's evidence of Nixon's paranoia that not only did he not know who his enemies were, he didn't know who his friends were, either.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:49 AM on October 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's evidence of Nixon's paranoia that not only did he not know who his enemies were, he didn't know who his friends were, either.

Well, considering that most of Nixon's friends didn't even like him, he might have been onto something.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:53 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


*cmd-F* cmoj

:(
posted by cmoj at 12:07 PM on October 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's evidence of Nixon's paranoia that not only did he not know who his enemies were, he didn't know who his friends were, either.

Without knowing much about Nixon's campaigns specifically, it's not hard to imagine that his road through the Republican primary and convention process created a few "enemies".
posted by Rock Steady at 12:08 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


My ex-husband once said, "My shit list is as follows: 1. Others."

It was in relation to an MMORPG, but I think it really did apply to everything else.

Which explains a lot.
posted by Madamina at 12:12 PM on October 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


This may shed light on how Carol Channing made Nixon's shitlist:
With the National Democratic Convention scheduled to begin on August 24 in Atlantic City, Liz approached Carol Channing with the idea of using the hit song [Hello, Dolly!] for the Democratic candidate, the incumbent President Lyndon Baines Johnson who, as Vice President, had assumed the presidency upon the assassination of President John F. Kennedy nine months earlier. ... Carol Channing was rushed by limousine from Broadway to Atlantic City on the opening day of the National Democratic Convention and, occasionally glimpsing at the new lyrics scribbled out, premiered the political hit song of ’64 - Hello Lyndon!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:23 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


That might be the best thing that ever happens in the history of journalism, past and future.

Indeed. I find it highly unlikely that any journalist would incite that kind of animosity from a politician today. They're far too worried about losing "access"
posted by RonButNotStupid at 12:26 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


growabrain: What a piece of work is a man
I've underlined a possible typo there.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:31 PM on October 30, 2012


This may shed light on how Carol Channing made Nixon's shitlist:

That, and Nixon was allergic to raspberries.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:36 PM on October 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


What a piece of [expletive deleted] is a man.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:50 PM on October 30, 2012


Just goes to show you what a paranoid motherfucker Nixon really was.

I mean, Tony Randall? Sure, the man can eat steak and all, but Tony Randall?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:58 PM on October 30, 2012


Phooey to you.

I was thinking of claims like this -
IRS smoking gun documents: White House tied to improper political audit of Western Journalism Center IRS documents show audit "originated" with complaint forwarded by Clinton White House; Documents Should Have Been Turned Over Years Ago, Proves Clinton IRS Untruthful (now a court had a different POV on the matter)

How about a lack of oversight for your 'friends'?

inspectors even went so far as to let oil companies literally fill out their own inspection reports using pencils. MMS inspectors would write on top of the pencil in ink and turn in the completed form.

Now Qwest didn't go along with the NSA warrentless wiretap back during the Bush administration and ended up having various investigations/fines along with government contracts just not going to them and eventually stopped being a separate corporation. Would the outcome for Qwest as a Corporation been different if they had agreed to warrentless wiretapping?

How about the tale of Mrs. Fitts?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:01 PM on October 30, 2012


No Nixon nostalgia tour is complete without bringing up his theories on gays, Mexicans and Archie Bunker. (Unless you've read it, it is more ridiculous than you can imagine.)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 2:06 PM on October 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


No Nixon nostalgia tour is complete without bringing up his theories on gays, Mexicans and Archie Bunker

Like attracted like - Earl Butts and his shoe quote.

But worry not, the present crop of public servants have been making their own theories with rape and abortion being the more talked about.
posted by rough ashlar at 3:13 PM on October 30, 2012


Interesting how 58.66 percent of the list is Jewish.

And yet he's still worshiped by Ben Stein, go figure.
posted by tommasz at 3:32 PM on October 30, 2012


Leave Hello Down There out of this. It's almost a perfect movie.
posted by bonefish at 3:37 PM on October 30, 2012


"I was thinking of claims like this -
IRS smoking gun documents: White House tied to improper political audit of Western Journalism Center IRS documents show audit "originated" with complaint forwarded by Clinton White House; Documents Should Have Been Turned Over Years Ago, Proves Clinton IRS Untruthful (now a court had a different POV on the matter)
"

You mean the claims of a conservative action group, with none of the actual documents, who managed to produce no legal evidence of misconduct?

"inspectors even went so far as to let oil companies literally fill out their own inspection reports using pencils. MMS inspectors would write on top of the pencil in ink and turn in the completed form. "

Oh, you mean the misconduct that happened during the Bush administration? He was, unless I've wandered into an alternate universe, actually a Republican, and his administration was famously corrupt.

As far as the Mrs. Fitts, I got about three paragraphs into the morass of paranoid conspiracy nonsense before backing out slowly and shutting the door.
posted by klangklangston at 4:41 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Woodward and Bernstein: 40 years after Watergate, Nixon was far worse than we thought

Previously.
posted by homunculus at 5:49 PM on October 30, 2012


There are worse things than death...

Oliver Stone tends to mythologize history, but his interpretation of Nixon is really worth viewing. In this film, Nixon's Enemies List is kinda like a personal response to Hoover's FBI blackmail file.
posted by ovvl at 6:08 PM on October 30, 2012


Yeah, he had an enemies list, but did he have a kill list?
posted by indubitable at 7:10 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why Hans Morgenthau, the champion of political realism?

I'm not exactly sure why he was on the list, but Morgenthau did disagree with the US war on Vietnam, on the grounds that it was an ideologically driven policy rather than something in the US national interest. Given his prominence as an intellectual, this would probably be enough to get on the list.
posted by williampratt at 7:15 PM on October 30, 2012


There's a section headed, simply, "Black congressmen."

Stay classy, Nixon.
posted by ostro at 8:54 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The weird thing is that (according to the recent FPP on electoral visualisation) Nixon was actually absurdly popular. He had no reason to be worried about political enemies. His downfall was entirely self-inflicted; if he had ignored his enemies he'd have left office with the majority of the country still supporting him.
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:32 PM on October 30, 2012


Yeah, he had an enemies list, but did he have a kill list?


Never mind that, did he have a Fuck-Marry-Kill list?
posted by KingEdRa at 10:39 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


[Mrs. Fitts] I got about three paragraphs into the morass of paranoid conspiracy nonsense before backing out slowly and shutting the door.

Near as I could scan it (and I'm trying not to fall in the rabbit hole), she was someone who was involved with FHA/HUD during the GHWB and GWB administrations. In between, she set up a private company that "won" a HUD contract. Besides making money off HUD/taxpayers, I assume they had access to a lot of HUD data. Around 1996 she is convinced the HUD is a giant drug money laundering scheme* whose purpose is to help Clinton get re-elected and run drugs with the CIA and stuff. That's the ne plus ultra, and so she tries to probably launch/abet what sounds like a "LOOKIT HOW HUD IS IN CAHOOTS WITH DRUG CARTELS" smear on the taxpayer dime.

Her company is smacked down, and poor Catherine Austin Fitts has to make do with a mere four residences, before she's back at HUD with GWB (at which point I presume it stops being a criminal enterprise).

So I think there's someone abusing government for shitty political gain in this scenario, but it wasn't the Clinton administration. Mrs. Fitts seems to be at that interesting place between very smart and cuckoopants.

*She's pretty sure every fast food restaurant and car wash is a drug money laundering scheme, not sure if she thought this before Breaking Bad. The weird thing is that she thinks HUD was a drug money scam since the Iran/Contra years which would mean she's partially responsible? Or is it just to try to make Iran/Contra somehow reflect on Clinton instead of being the stake through the heart of the Reagan myth that it is. It doesn't come together very clearly, and no word of how she dealt with this hugely evil conspiracy once she was in charge of the heart of it again.
posted by fleacircus at 3:29 AM on October 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Seeing Robert McNamara on the list might be the first time I've been proud we shared a last name.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:50 AM on October 31, 2012


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